It might snow here in Boston tomorrow, but my mind is set on spring. I bought some culinary lavender a few weeks back and finally decided to use it in some shortbread. This shortbread is super simple, but it has a secret: rosewater. It’ll be plenty good without it, but if you happen to have a bottle (or have an Indian grocer nearby), it adds a most delightful yet subtle floral note that complements the lavender well.
Here are two methods for rolling out your shortbread dough, one free form and the other uses miniature springform pans. You can use full size 8″ or 9″ pans, but I like the small rounds my 4.5″ pans produce. If you want to increase the lavender flavor, let the lavender sit in the powdered sugar for a day or two before making this recipe. If you measure it out this way beforhand, you can just dump it into your softened earth balance when you’re ready to make the recipe. If I were you, though, I’d make some extra lavender sugar while you’re at it to add to tea and other baked goods.
Makes Approximately six 4.5″ rounds
1 Cup Earth Balance, softened
1/2 Cup Powdered Sugar
1-2 tsp Rosewater
1 1/2 Tbs Dried Culinary Lavender
2 Cups All Purpose Flour
Preheat oven to 325Âº F.
Cream earth balance, sugar, lavender, and rose water together in an electric mixer until very soft and fluffy. Mix in four by hand with a wooden spoon or rubber spatula. If needed, use your hands to work the dough but do not overmix. The dough should be very soft but not overly sticky.
If making free form rounds: Divide dough in half, form into flat rounds, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Roll out dough on parchment paper into rounds that are 1/4″ thick. It doesn’t really matter how large they are in diameter, just make them all consistent so they they bake evenly. I recommend between 4″ and 8″. Place the parchment paper, dough and all, on cookie sheet and bake for 15-18 minutes, until golden around the edges. See the last photo for the last set of instructions.
If using springform pans:Divide dough between greased springform pans pans.
Pat down on the dough to evenly distribute it. Make sure it is no more than 1/4″ thick. To test for thickness, insert a butter knife into the dough vertically and remove – just like checking your oil in your car.
You do check your oil, don’t you?
You can further smooth your shortbread round by greasing the back of a spoon and pressing lightly on the dough. This is great for evening out the edges especially. Be gentle here, or you could accidently tear the dough. If you do, simply press it back together.
Carefully place plastic wrap over the surface of the dough (so no part is exposed to air) and refrigerate for at least an hour. Though dough should feel firm once fully chilled. Simply remove the plastic wrap and place directly in your preheated oven and bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown around the edges.
When the shortbread comes out of the oven, remove the rings if using pans, and lightly use a spatula or the back of a long knife to score the tops of the shortbread. Once the bread cools, it will become harder and crispier and will easily break along these lines. Allow to cool completely before serving.
This would be extra nice served with tea!